Starting in 2022, Toledo may look forward to a bright future. However, because difficulties abound, that future will necessitate effort. Nonetheless, there are a number of items in the toolbox that point to a bright future for this metropolis.
The monies from the American Rescue Plan will provide Toledo with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the city and plan some reforms that will help the city move forward in the future.
Investing in young people, the downtown area, and public safety can deliver good news to all Toledo residents for decades to come.
More editorials from the Blade
Toledo is on the mend, and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, who has a mandate to rule and a council that is mainly on his side, can make a significant difference. The year 2022 has the potential to be a spectacular one. People may look back on this year in the future and say, “That’s when Toledo’s renaissance began.”
What is it going to take?
Innovative thinking and the use of federal funding in places where they are most needed.
More initiatives for young people are needed in the city. Giving children safe areas to play and recreational opportunities improves neighborhoods and allows them to spend time as children rather than being influenced by negative influences. The importance of neighborhoods cannot be overstated. The administration should concentrate on providing possibilities in the city’s core and surrounding neighborhoods.
The revitalization of the downtown area must continue. The rebirth of downtown has been a huge success, with more businesses and individuals living and working in the area. We must maintain our momentum. Giving historic properties a fresh lease of life is still an important part of this plan. Strong downtowns characterize great cities. Another area where progress can be made is the growth of the city’s waterfront parks.
Of course, there are obstacles to overcome. The main issue right now is the cycle of violence that is driving Toledo’s homicide rate to an all-time high in 2021. This pattern must be reversed. It will take more than just a pause in the violence. While there appear to be some positive outcomes in regions of the city where interrupters have concentrated, the violence appears to just shift to another part of the city.
More police personnel are needed in the city so that patrols can be conducted more often. There are plans to add more cops to the team. Toledo, on the other hand, continues to be chronically short of the 700 policemen the mayor envisions and the department need.
The strategy must be expedited in order to get additional cops trained and on the streets sooner. For far too long, the Toledo Police Department has been understaffed. This should be a top priority, and the mayor and council should research ways to speed up officer hiring.
Blight hasn’t gone away, and it’s all over the city. While much has been accomplished, there is still much more to be done. Every avenue for obtaining grants to combat blight must be explored. The owners of decrepit properties, the producers of blight, must be held accountable. The cleanup expenditures should not be borne by the residents. The aggressive prosecution and collection of fees and fines for derelict property cleanup should continue and grow.
The challenges can be overcome.
Toledo’s future will necessitate hard effort and tough decisions. The city’s chances have never been better thanks to government funds. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that must not be squandered. Only effective use of funds, not political gifts, will allow this city’s bright future to become a reality.
Politics are significantly less crucial than the city’s future.